We interrupt this program:) …
transfers of companies breathes an aroma of nostalgia (?). Moleskine,
celebrated maker of small travel notebooks is changing hands. For 60,000,000
euros, the private fund, Société générale repurchased this once very
French brand. In 1998, Milanese company Modo & Modo restarted it again, to
the great pleasure of Moleskine’s fans.
This transfer with a
French investor, the small PME returns it to the French "fold" with the
desire to build its future while retaining it’s past traditions.
Moleskine has been the travel companion of great adventurers, the
confidant of the great writers, and the witness to great painter’s anguish. From
Van Gogh to Picasso, Matisse, Hemingway, a plethora of the last century’s
artists adopted Moleskine’s notebooks for travel, sketching or
Pablo Picasso had a whole collection of them. One, the
sketchpad n° 53, a notebook of 9 centimetres over 13,5 dated June/September
1912 can be seen at the Picasso Museum in Paris. Oscar Wilde never traveled by
train without his notebook: "It"s always necessary to have something sensational
to read", he said. Ernest Hemingway was accustomed to sitting at table with
thela Closerie des Lilas in his "favorite angle": "I’d order a
café-crème and spend long afternoons writing in my note
Most saddened was Bruce Chatwin
At the time,
Moleskine was produced in an artisanal manner by a small family paper mill in
Tours. Amateurs appreciated the rigid paperboard covered in black or brown
fabric, the elastic band which held it closed and the mitre which made it
possible to open it without the pages flying away. In 1986, the papermill owner
died and production ceased.
Most saddened was Bruce Chatwin. Collector,
journalist, novelist and travel writer on Patagonie and the Australian
Aboriginals, was known to say: "To lose my passport is the last of my concern.
To mislay my note book would be acatastrophic." Chatwin told its fright when its
paper maker, installed street of the Old-Comedy in Paris, taught him laconically
that "Moleskine truth is not any more". It sought of it a hundred for one of its
The small Milanese company, Modo and Modo, started production
again in 1998 by depositing the mark no one had taken bothered to
patent. Success came quickly. Notebooks, scetch books, books lined, squared, in
both small and large sizes are sold today to 4,5 million specimens per annum
in some thirty country. JNF Productions, created in 1977 by Jean-Christmas
Flammarion, secured the exclusive rights of distribution for France.
Modo and Modo, Moleskine is it’s only product, makes approximately 70 million
euros in sales turnover. Its owners, Mario Baruzzi and Francesco Franceschi, did
not comment yesterday."
"Moleskine: How to revive a brand"
By Ben McConnell
Notebookism.com, our new partner site.